Community Engagement In Australian Local Government: A snapshot


Australian local governments are increasingly required to facilitate public input into their decision making processes. At any given time, councils are running more than one community engagement process, whether it be on land use planning, infrastructure, service planning or another area covered by local governments. This “boom” in community engagement practice has been exponential, living little time for reflection. To aid this reflection, this research provides a snapshot of current community engagement practice. Drawing on surveys from 175 local governments and a series of practitioner interviews, this presentation will provide a picture of how councils understand and practice community engagement.


Helen is a community engagement specialist with skills and experience in training, research, process design and facilitation.

She is an Industry Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Public Policy and Governance, where she has recently completed a PhD exploring the practice and professionalisation of community engagement in Australian local government.

Helen is also the Principal of The Public Engagement Practice, where she works with public organisations to design and deliver participatory processes and to build people’s capability to design and deliver engagement themselves.

In addition to these roles, Helen regularly delivers training for the International Association of Public Participation.


This seminar will be held using the video conferencing software Zoom. If you would like the link, please email